Belfast Coin is set to be the city’s first digital currency via an app later this year.
This announcement follows on from a successful application by the city council to be part of a global challenge.
Belfast Coin will be an incentive-based digital currency aimed at rewarding positive actions by residents. Furthermore, it will drive economic growth and help to achieve environmental goals.
This is a first for Northern Ireland. The initiative was made made possible thanks to Belfast’s membership of 100 Resilient Cities. This is a global network funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Furthermore, in developing the Belfast Coin programme, the Belfast City Council collaborated with the Tel Aviv and UK based company, Colu.
Belfast Commissioner for Resilience, Grainia Long, said: “Being selected to be part of the global city currency challenge means an important opportunity for Belfast. I’m delighted that this has been made possible through our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, and working with Colu.
“Belfast Coin will be introduced later this year. It’s our hope that it will initially give an economic boost to local businesses, as well as helping Council achieve other long-term goals, including environmental improvements.
“This challenge gives us the opportunity to explore how a city currency can bring residents, businesses and city partners together to support inclusive growth. This is a key priority within our Belfast Agenda. It’s also really exciting to be working alongside other global cities to learn from each other about urban problem-solving and sharing best practice.”
Belfast Coin: can it really work?
It’s hard to tell where digital currencies stand on the global landscape. At some points, their high value attracts excitement from investors.
However, the volatility has certainly pushed many governments away from allowing the currencies freedom.
The announcement by Colu marks the formal commencement of the pilot initiative.
Once launched, residents will be able to accumulate Belfast Coin in return for a range of activities. These include shopping local, recycling, volunteering and taking part in civic activities.